Britain’s Benefit Tenants – Review of Abode’s feature in the programme

Tracy & Abode star in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

Hopefully by now many of you have had time to watch Tracy and the Abode team feature in the latest series of Britain’s Benefit Tenants.

I wanted to write a review of the programme so you can gain a deeper insight into the stories covered. The aim of the programme was to show the social housing crisis in the UK and how private landlords and their letting agents are filling this gap in the housing market by providing homes for people that claim housing benefit.

The tenants and stories featured form part of Tracy’s work with housing benefit tenants that come to Abode from homeless charities and hostels. A small percentage of the properties we manage are let out to these tenants in a house share set up.

Tracy is an expert in dealing with housing benefit tenancies, her knowledge of the system is outstanding and by getting direct payment we are able to keep control of the tenancy and most importantly for the landlord, the payment of rent.

The first story featured in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

The first story that you saw in the Britain’s Benefit Tenants programme was that of Patrick. Patrick has a history of alcohol dependency and he came to us from one of the homeless charities that we work with.

He had been a long standing tenant but his housing benefit claim was stopped for a two week period. Tracy worked tirelessly to get the claim reinstated and the back pay for the two week period paid, the whole scenario took three months!

features in Britain's Benefit Tenants

Patrick features in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

 

What you saw in the programme was Tracy meeting with Patrick to write a letter that was to go to the council. Patrick told the council that he had vacated the property, when he hadn’t! The letter Tracy and Patrick wrote explained the dates that Patrick was owed an HB payment for and confirmed that Tracy had the right to talk to them on his behalf.

Patrick apologises to Tracy as featured in Britain's Benefit Tenants

Patrick apologises to Tracy as featured in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

 

Patrick was very apologetic to Tracy. The two week period that his HB claim was stopped was for a time when Patrick had a relapse and fell into drinking again. As with all our tenants, Tracy has a great relationship with Patrick and he was very sorry for all the trouble he had caused her.

Tracy calls the council regarding Patrick's claim as featured in Britain's Benefit Tenants

Tracy calls the council regarding Patrick’s claim as featured in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

 

The second story featured in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

The next scenario you see Tracy in is the rather sad story of “the birds”.

The birds as featured in Britain's Benefit Tenants

The birds as featured in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

 

This was the story that shocked many people that we have spoken to since watching the programme.

Tracy had attended three months prior to carry out a routine inspection, this tenant had one bird in a cage in the corner of his living room. Three months later, the next inspection is due, Tracy arrives with the camera crew from Channel 4 to find eight birds and the property being used as an avery.

The tenant, who did not feature in the programme, had been removed from the property for his own well-being. Tracy’s job then was to secure the safety of the birds. The tenant returned to the property a few weeks later but the birds remain elsewhere.

Not surprisingly, we find that tenants who have had alcohol or drug problems have mental health issues too, these manifest in different ways. Tracy and the team at Abode have the experience to deal with all sorts of different scenarios which for many landlords would be too difficult to manage.

Many people wondered why the landlord was ok with the situation. That landlord is me and I can explain why.

We are achieving an excellent rent for that property with the house share set up. For me to have rented it to a family I would have needed to have made a number of cosmetic improvements, however with just a few updates and of course ensuring the gas safety, epc, co2 and smoke detector are in place I can let the house in this way and achieve more rent.

Yes, I will have a refurbishment bill at the end of the tenancy but another few years of a traditional let and the property would be ready for refurb anyway. I might as well make more money now and pay the same for my refurb down the line, overall I am better off.

The third story featured in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

The third and final story that was shown in the programme featured Joe and Martin. Joe (without the glasses) was a previous tenant at the property, his brother currently lives there. Martin (with the glasses) is a new tenant going in. There is confusion over who owns the fridge and Joe thought that Martin had “told on him” when Martin brought it to our attention that Joe might be taking the fridge elsewhere and what would happen if he did so.

This scenario shows the sort of “petty” things that we often have to deal with. Day to day issues that professional sharers would resolve easily. For many tenants like this the smallest issue becomes a huge drama and as the letting agent, Tracy and Abode have to resolve these issues so the tenants can live in harmony and importantly the landlord can get his rent.

Since the programme Martin has unfortunately been taken into custody and Joe is hoping to move back into the property.

Joe and Martin debate the ownership of the fridge as featured in Britain's Benefit Tenants

Joe and Martin debate the ownership of the fridge as featured in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

 

Tracy in the Abode Car as featured in Britain's Benefit Tenants

Tracy in the Abode Car as featured in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

 

In Summary

We hope that you found the Britain’s Benefit Tenants programme an interesting watch. It was a great insight into the work that Tracy and the team at Abode do to provide housing for those people that the lack of social housing cannot.

Many believe that in an ideal world the government would house and “deal with” these tenants but we do not live in an ideal world. We do not have enough social housing, we do not have enough houses full stop!

Unfortunately we cannot solve the housing stock problems but we can do our bit to provide homes for those that other people may not wish to help. If we can house a handful of people that otherwise may sleep on the streets then we believe we are doing a good deed for those people as well as finding tenants for properties that may otherwise be vacant.

It’s a win win! Tracy and the team do the most amazing job at ensuring everything runs smoothly for all parties.

Your feedback to our appearance in Britain’s Benefit Tenants

We had some lovely feedback from some of our landlords after the Britain’s Benefit Tenants programme aired, here are the kind words;

Flo, Landlord

Firstly, feedback from a family member:

“Just watched the prog. Wow, what and eye opener. And as for Tracy from Abode Wow. The girl’s done well! So pleased you signed us up with them.”

And from me:

I echo that. I had no idea. Really great job,Tracy. You came across as super-efficient but fair. Loved the way you dealt with those two blokes in Salford. It’d take more than two angry blokes to intimidate you. Loved it.You’re welcome to sort out the men in my house any time.  More power to you.In fact, well done to all the team. It’s no mean feat to keep things running smoothly with all that mayhem going on. So thanks for all you do. I could never have managed our family property so well, so you are all appreciated.

Mr Daman, Landlord

Tracy you are so brave and Abode came across really well

Did you watch the programme?

Has it raised any that questions you would like to ask Tracy?

We would be delighted to hear from you if you have any issues with any benefit tenants?

Are you struggling to manage your benefit tenants?

Tracy and the team at Abode are experts at dealing with situations that for you may be proving difficult.

Feel to free to call Tracy on 0161 883 2525 or contact us through our website here

 

*****Previous Blog Post*****

We are delighted to announce that we are to be featured in the new series of Channel 4’s Britain’s Benefit Tenants.

Tracy and the team at Abode will be on your screens on Thursday 3rd November 10 pm.

Tracy is the Expert Letting Agent in S.3Ep2 of Britain's Benefit Tenants

Tracy is the Expert Letting Agent in S.3Ep2 of Britain’s Benefit Tenants

Abode to feature on Channel 4 Britain's Benefit Tenants

Abode to feature on Channel 4 Britain’s Benefit Tenants

There is a social housing issue in the UK at the moment and as council housing numbers shrink, more people are renting privately.

The programme Britain’s Benefit Tenants meets the specialist letting agents trying to keep private landlords and tenants happy.

Tracy was filmed for a number of days over the summer out and about responding to situations as they happened, as well as some filming within the Abode office.

We will watch the finished programme as it airs on Thursday night with you all!

You can find out more about the programme Britain’s Benefit Tenants on Channel 4’s website.

I will write again next week with a review of the programme and some further insight into the topics covered.

Did you watch the programme?

Has it raised any that questions you would like to ask Tracy?

We would be delighted to hear from you if you have any issues with any benefit tenants?

Are you struggling to manage your benefit tenants?

Tracy and the team at Abode are experts at dealing with situations that for you may be proving difficult.

Feel to free to call Tracy on 0161 883 2525 or contact us through our website here

On set with Channel 4

On set with Channel 4

On set with Channel 4

On set with Channel 4

Tags: , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Become the forefront of local landlord knowledge

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for the latest landlord and industry news, buy to let tips and upcoming property developments. Your details will never be shared and you can unsubscribe at any opportunity.
Email address
Secure details and no third party spam, guaranteed.